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Happy New Year! or Kung-hsi Fa-ts’ai!

The Chinese and many Chinese Americans are kicking off their New Year today, February 20, 2015.  It’s the year of the Ram and people born under this sign have these characteristics:

People born in the Year of Sheep are tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and a special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously and circumspectly. In their daily life, they try to be economical. They are willing to take good care of others, but they should avoid pessimism and hesitation.

For more info go to this site:

In China, most people kick off the New Year with a parade and fireworks of course.  The New Year celebrations don’t end there.  For more information about celebrating Chinese New Year in China, please visit this site:



African-American Experience Children’s Literary Reference Guide (2010-2015)

This is an amazing reference guide put together by Elizabeth Bird and shared on School Library Journal.  Many of these books are available at your library.  Look for a display at your local library this month.

Picture Books

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, ISBN: 9780316209175

Lucky Beans by Becky Birtha, illustrated Nicole Tadgell, ISBN: 9780807547823

Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9781419707926

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9780670012855

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Don Tate, ISBN: 9781570917004

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780399233425

Firebird by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers, ISBN: 9780399166150

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780399252846

Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9780312603267

Underground by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9781250056757

We March by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9781596435391

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin, illustrated Vanessa Brantley-Newton, ISBN: 9781600608469

My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey by Jeanne Walker Harvey, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, ISBN: 9780761458104

My Friend Maya Loves to Dance by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9780810983281

Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes, illustrated Sean Qualls, ISBN: 9780547362656

Goal! by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by A.G. Ford, ISBN: 9780763658229

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, ISBN: 9780689873768

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, ISBN: 9780803735118

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, ISBN: 9781423119548

Hope’s Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated Don Tate, ISBN: 9780399160011

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, ISBN: 9780399252136

Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter, ISBN: 9780399250033

Every Little Thing: Based on the Song ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley and Cedella Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, ISBN: 9781452106977

One Love by Cedella Marley, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, ISBN: 9781452102245

These Hands by Margaret H. Mason, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780547215662

Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson, illustrated by R.G. Roth, ISBN: 9780375833342

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers, ISBN: 9781606842188

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete & Ryan Elizabeth Peete, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9780545094665

Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Bettye Stroud, Bettye, and John Holyfield, ISBN: 9780763640583

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780761352556

Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson, illustrated by A.G. Ford, ISBN: 9780545166720

Me and Momma and Big John by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by William Low, ISBN: 9780763643591

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9781600608988

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9781619631786

In the Land of Milk and Honey by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780060253837

As Fast As Words Could Fly by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9781600603488

Grandma’s Gift by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9780802720825

Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Sean Qualls, ISBN: 9780060583101

Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, ISBN: 9780807576502

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9781590787120

Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, ISBN: 9781416961239

This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson, Jacqueline, illustrated by James Ransome, ISBN: 9780399239861

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, ISBN: 9780399239878

Early Chapter Books

Dog Days by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780547970448

Election Madness by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780547850719

Skateboard Party by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780544283060

Birthday Blues by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780547248936

Nikki and Deja by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780547133621

Substitute Trouble by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, ISBN: 9780544223882

Keena Ford and the Secret Journal Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson, illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9780142419373

Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson, illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9780142415726

EllRay Jakes and the Beanstalk by Sally Warner, illustrated by Brian Biggs, ISBN: 9780670784998

EllRay Jakes the Dragon Slayer! by Sally Warner, illustrated by Brian Biggs, ISBN: 9780670784974

EllRay Jakes Walks the Plank! by Sally Warner, illustrated by Jamie Harper, ISBN: 9780670063062

EllRay Jakes Is a Rock Star by Sally Warner, illustrated by Jamie Harper, ISBN: 9780670011582

EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken! by Sally Warner, illustrated by Jamie Harper, ISBN: 9780670062430

Ellray Jakes Rocks the Holidays! by Sally Warner, illustrated by Brian Biggs, ISBN: 9780451469090

Ellray Jakes Is Magic! by Sally Warner, illustrated by Brian Biggs, ISBN: 9780670785001

Middle Grade Fiction

Sasquatch in the Paint by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld, ISBN: 9781423178705

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, ISBN: 9780544107717

How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen, ISBN: 9780061992728

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett, ISBN: 9780545299886

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry Bass, illustrated by Jerry Craft, ISBN: 9780545132107

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond, Victoria and T.R. Simon, ISBN: 9780763643003

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth, ISBN: 9780545224963

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg, ISBN: 9780545535649

Riding on Duke’s Train by Mick Carlon, ISBN: 9781935248064

Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng, ISBN: 9781600604515

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis, ISBN: 9780545156646

Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad by Monica Edinger, illustrated by Robert Byrd, ISBN: 9780763650384

Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon Flake, ISBN: 9780545609609

Winter Sky by Patricia Reilly Giff, ISBN: 9780375838927

The Perfect Place by Teresa E. Harris, ISBN: 9780547255194

Buddy by M.H. Herlong, ISBN: 9780142425442

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson, ISBN: 9780545525527

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana, ISBN: 9781452124568

Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin, ISBN: 9781595145468

True Legend by Mike Lupica, ISBN: 9780399252273

The Sittin’ Up by Sheila P. Moses, ISBN: 9780399257230

Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson, ISBN: 9780763649227

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes, ISBN: 9780316043083

8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, ISBN: 9780545097253

The Other Side of Free by Krista Russell, ISBN: 9781561457106

Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells, illustrated by Marcos Calo, ISBN: 9780544238336

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, ISBN: 9780060760885

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia, ISBN: 9780061938627

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods, ISBN: 9780399257148

Crow by Barbara Wright, ISBN: 9780375873676


What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld, and Ben Boos, illustrated by A.G. Ford, ISBN: 9780763645649

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, ISBN: 9780375867125

The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Don Tate, ISBN: 9781580893879

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome, ISBN: 9781416959038

Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Ballerina by Michaela Deprince, Michaela and Elaine Deprince, illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9780385755160

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, ISBN: 9780547239941

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, ISBN: 9780618852796

I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery by Cynthia Grady, illustrated by Michele Wood, ISBN: 9780802853868

The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, ISBN: 9780061259210

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, ISBN: 9781596435407

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier, ISBN: 9780316107310

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Bryan Collier, ISBN: 9781442420083

The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield, ISBN: 9781419707964

Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman: Olympic High-Jump Champion by Heather Lang, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9781590788509

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson, ISBN: 9781561456277

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Various, ISBN: 9781452101194

Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper by Ann Malaspina, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9780807580356

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Will Allen, illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin, ISBN: 9780983661535

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson, ISBN: 9780061783746

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson, ISBN: 9780061730740

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Sean Qualls, ISBN: 9780763664596

Martin & Mahalia: His Words – Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Andrea Davis, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney, ISBN: 9780316070133

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney, ISBN: 9781423142577

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney, ISBN: 9780316070164

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson, ISBN: 9781452103143

Jackie Robinson: American Hero by Sharon Robinson, ISBN: 9780545569156

Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige Vs. Rookie Joe Dimaggio by Robert Skead, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780761366195

Brick by Brick by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Floyd Cooper, ISBN: 9780061920820

Stars in the Shadows: The Negro League All-Star Game of 1934
by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Frank Morrison, ISBN: 9780689866388

Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Shane W. Evans, ISBN: 9781596434738

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone, ISBN: 9780763651176

It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, ISBN: 9781600602603

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Don Tate, ISBN: 9780061349201

My Uncle Martin’s Words for America: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Tells How He Made a Difference by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9781419700224

My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins, Angela illustrated by Eric Velasquez, ISBN: 9780810989757

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, ISBN: 9780399252518

Have Some Fun with Rocks!

owl rock artLately,  I have been interested in rock art.  I’ve seen some really cool rocks, not only with pictures like the one you see here, but sayings I like, such as Dream, Peace, Joy, etc. I even purchased one the other day that had the word Healing on it.  I like the word and what it means, and I like holding the rock and feeling its surface,  I have had rock painting workshops for kids and adults at the libraries where I work, and there have been some amazing designs. I am tempted to try it myself. So I went looking for ideas to pin to my Pinterest account, and found some that I have attached here for instructions.  The best thing about rock art is that it’s not expensive.  You can find rocks of all different shapes and sizes to paint.  You can buy inexpensive paints and brushes at a local craft store like Michael’s or Joanne’s Fabrics.  Check these out, and make some rock art for yourself or as a gift:http://purplecandy.hubpages.com/hub/PAINTING-AND-DRAWING-ON-STONES   and here is another site you might like:http://www.marthastewart.com/274462/rock-crafts/@center/276975/marthas-crafts-kids#182544.  Have fun making cool rock art!



“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

Attention Frozen fans!  “Do you want to build a snowman? “  The kids at Newark Library had so much fun buildng their Olaf snow globes and I thought you might like to make one, too.  Here are two projects you can do, one cute and easy for younger children, and one big and fancy for the older fans:


1. The Easy Olaf Snow Globe

small Olaf snow globe 2

Craft Supplies:

  • colored CD sleeves
  • winter stickers or sticky back foamies
  • crayons
  • artificial snowflakes
  • printed Olaf pattern on square paper that fits the CD sleeve
  • glitters
  • a spoon


  • Cut out the Olaf pattern square of your choice (adults can cut them out because we need to have the correct size to fit in the CD sleeve)
  • Color Olaf and decorate the background with winter stickers and/or sticky foams
  • Insert the finished Olaf picture into the CD sleeve
  • Scoop some fake snowflakes into the CD sleeve with a spoon and add some glitters
  • Close the CD sleeve flap and you have a cute little Olaf snow globe!



2. The Fancy Olaf Snow Globe

big Olaf snow globe

Craft Supplies:

  • one aqua-blue paper plate and one uncoated white paper plate
  • white felt
  • scratch paper of brown, orange, black, and other colors
  • stickers and sticky back foamies
  • glue sticks and craft glue
  • googly eyes and craft glue dots
  • artificial fluffy snow
  • glitters
  • black Sharpie makers
  • crayons and colored markers
  • recycled coffee sleeves
  • staplers, scissors, double-sided tapes
  • clear cellophane sheet
  • brown pipe cleaners


  • Cut out the rectangle with patterns of Olaf’s head, body and feet
  • Staple the whole rectangle to white felt and cut out each shape, then remove the staples
  • Glue these felt pieces on the colored paper plate to create Olaf in any position you like
  • Cut out the mouth in this sheet
  • Cut out 3 small black circles for buttons, and 1 orange triangle for nose
  • Glue items in 4 and 5 on your Olaf’s face and body
  • Glue googly eyes to Olaf’s face (glue dots work better)
  • Draw eyebrows with black Sharpie marker
  • Glue thin strips cut from brown paper to make hair and/or hands
  • (You may use brown pipe cleaners for hands if you like)
  • Decorate the background with stickers, foamies, drawings, or things made with scratch paper
  • Add artificial fluffy snow and glitters
  • Cut out the center of the white paper plate
  • Cover the opening with clear cellophane sheet from inside and secure it with double-sided tape
  • Put two plates fact-to-face and staple them together around the edges (stapling in 4 or 5 places is good enough)
  • Decorate the front of your snow globe if you wish
  • Snip two slits on the short side of the coffee sleeve to make a stand that can hold your snow globe
  • Insert the bottom your Olaf snow globe into the slits of the stand and you are done!


A Fun Craft for all Seasons!

winter-wreath-final1You probably think of wreaths as a holiday decoration.  So did I, until I found this fun craft that shows you how to make a wreath for all occasions year-round! The pictures show you wreaths made of plastic bags and stickers. Go to the url here for directions! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/363454632403372188/   I think you’ll have lots of fun on a day that it is too cold or rainy to head outside.

2015 New Year Fireworks Around the World

Happy New Year everyone! 
Please enjoy these beautiful fireworks and wish you and yours all the best for 2015!

Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Sydney, Australia

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tokyo, Japan

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

London, England

Rio De Janeiro, Brasil

New York City, USA

Cook, Make, and Bake!

Winter is a great time to stay home and be cozy, and what could be cozier than something warm and tasty.

Maybe you have family traditions you do every year, or you’re always looking for something new — baking cookies, cupcakes, tarts or pies; making candy; or cooking up some yummy soup or stew — they are wonderful to share. Have treats ready when company drops in, and to package up to give away as gifts.

Find some great ideas and recipes at the Library:

A Merry Christmas Cookbook, by Cristina Garces

“Disney characters share their favorite Christmas recipes, including Belle’s classic winter porridge for breakfast, Lightning McQueen’s pot pie for dinner, and Pooh Bear’s mini honey buns for dessert.”           [J641.5686 GARCES]

National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round FUN Food Adventure by Barton Seaver

“Join Barton Seaver—master chef and National Geographic Explorer—on a year-round culinary adventure as he explores what it takes to create the ultimate dish. Barton provides mouthwatering recipes, the ins and outs of healthy eating, awesome crafts and activities, and food-focused challenges, proving once and for all that cooking can be a blast. Follow along as he teaches you to plant a kitchen garden, host a dinner party for your friends, and pack the perfect school lunch. Other highlights include ways to play with your food, festive holiday meals, snow day snacks, and family cooking competitions.”    [J641.5 SEAVER]

FamilyFun Homemade Holidays edited by Deanna Cook

“Presents dozens of creative ideas for the winter holidays–Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa–with a host of party plans, decorating tips, games and activities, delicious recipes, and other helpful suggestions to make the season special for every member of the family.”              [J745.59416 FAMILYFUN]

Maccabee Meals: Food and Fun for Hanukkah by Judye Groner

“Provides instructions for preparing Hanukkah meals, including how to light the candle, how to play dreidel, and make table and Hanukkah decorations.”              [ J641.568 GRONER]

Sweet Cookies and Bars by Kari Cornell

“Offers easy-to-follow cookie and bar recipes and provides information on equipment needed, cooking techniques, safety, and special ingredients.”     [J641.86 CORNELL]

Minnie and Friends Cookbook by Cynthia Littlefield

“A kid-friendly cookbook featuring Minnie Mouse and all her friends provides more than 25 photographed recipes for such delectables as Ear-resistible French Toast, Polka-Dot Tomato Soup and Daisy’s Delicious Yogurt Parfait.”     [J641.5123 LITTLEFIELD]

Mommy and Me Start Cooking by Denise Smart

“Full of fun activities such as experiencing food with all five senses, designing dishes, and performing kitchen experiments, plus an introduction to measurements associated with cooking, this is the perfect cookbook for children who want to join their parents in the kitchen. Readers will learn about staple ingredients such as eggs, flour, and chocolate. They will find out what is inside an egg, where vegetables grow, how flour is made, and more.”             [ J641.5 SMART]


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